For non-custodial parents, or parents who don’t have custody of their children, staying in touch can be difficult. Visitation can be limited to just a few holidays, every other weekend, or perhaps one evening a week.
If the non-custodial parent lives far away, visitation can be even more challenging and infrequent.
This is heartbreaking for many parents, who long to have a more constant, important presence in their children’s lives. Fortunately, there is an option that has been gaining in popularity among parents and courts across the U.S.: virtual visitation.
“Virtual visitation agreements can cover things as mundane as telephone calls, e-mail and instant messages, but the focus is on video connections,” reports NBC News.
Many parents have long been coming up with these agreements informally, outside of court; however, lawmakers, judges, and lawyers have recently given the option more consideration. In 2004, the state of Utah made virtual visitation an official option. In Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, and Virginia, lawmakers have discussed legislation allowing virtual visitation to be officially included in divorce agreements.
Supporters of this type of visitation say that it helps parents and children keep in touch, which in turn encourages non-custodial parents to pay child support regularly.
Virtual visitation has its critics, however. Some worry that allowing judges to formally include this type of contact in divorce agreements would lead to less face-to-face time.
This type of visitation agreement is long overdue, in my opinion. We live in a technological age, and parents should be able to take advantage of Skype, FaceTime, and other tools to stay in touch with their children.
As a parent, you only want what’s best for your children—which, of course, includes quality time spent with you. If you are thinking about filing for divorce and have questions about gaining custody of your children, please feel free to read my child custody page or contact me.